Growth & Business Development Tips for Accounting Firms - Success in Accounting

Episode 9

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Published on:

2nd Jul 2018

Growth & Business Development Tips for Accounting Firms

Alex Davis of Intuit Quickbooks works exclusively with large accounting firms, helping them attract and retain clients through building strong, benefit-led propositions using cloud technology. The result for accountants is a better knowledge of their client base, greater efficiencies in their processes, greater staff capability and better advisory conversations with clients.

Having worked in business development for 20 years, he is passionate about the role that accountants have to play in the ‘new world’ of sales where the concepts of trust and authenticity have never been more important.

He believes in challenging people on the way they view and apply technology, and his views are increasingly being sought by leaders in large accounting firms to drive change and maximise cloud opportunities.

Enjoy this engaging interview and get these insightful takeaways:

  • Most people, if they’re really honest, want to get into business development and sales
  • In accountancy, everyone is in sales – we all have to influence others and get our point of view across
  • Accountants are typically risk-averse but are becoming more open to winning work
  • The new generation of accountants are proactive with networking and BD
  • The role of brand and ‘sub-brand’ in separating the good accounting firms from the great ones
  • The power of being benefit led and client-oriented in a strong accounting proposition
  • Big accounting firms organically grow 5-10% annually based on referrals but…
  • The accounting landscape is changing with virtual firms, high street competition
  • The accounting melting pot – everyone is coming together and competing for the same business
  • The role of niching, focus and specialty – what the successful firms will be doing in coming years
  • The ONE THING firms will need to do if they want to succeed in coming years.
  • Bad doctrine in accounting appears in pricing, manipulation and selling vz relationship
  • How the ‘we and us’ approach turns prospects off – better to be ‘you and yours’
  • What’s the biggest improvement can you promise to your accounting clients?
  • Software demos are okay, but Quickbooks instead talk to clients about growth and improvement
  • Why accountants are uniquely placed to be the most trusted advisor in the business world
  • Trust is the one thing that can cut through the marketing noise for accountants
  • Profile tip for accounting firms – local office address is not as important as a stand out LinkedIn profile to millennial clients
  • The shift in loyalty when switching accountants – why one SME has switched 4 times in 5 years
  • The power of subscription pricing models for accountants- it’s how we are increasingly buying stuff
  • Whose responsibility is it to lead in the engagement – the client or the accountant?
  • What’s the real purpose of the accounting sales person? Mentor, coach, advisor or something different?
  • The critical role of disruptive technology in the accounting world over the next 3-5 years
  • 76% of accounting fees come from compliance and traditional work – red flag for large firms
  • Why the right skills to sell and deliver on advisory work will drive accounting growth in coming years
  • Deeper and better conversations with clients – how are you setting up your accounting people to have those?
  • Knowing the client decision cycle to add value in business conversations
  • The power of purpose and outcomes for accountants having client conversations
  • Where the future opportunities are for progressive accounting firms

Alex is a very proud father of 3 and loves beaches, sport and wine. He has a really odd phobia of frogs. To contact him

07825 767658

Twitter: @alex_intuit

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About the Podcast

Success in Accounting
Insights, interviews and commentary for accounting, CPA, bookkeeping and finance professionals
SUCCESS IN ACCOUNTING is a weekly podcast for accountants, CPAs, bookkeeping and finance professionals, together with the networks, associations, fintech vendors and influencers who lead them, work in them and serve them.

The show is hosted by Rob Brown and Martin Bissett who are founders of the Accounting Influencers Roundtable (AIR) and have many years of experience serving the accountancy profession. The style of the show is not overly technical/technological/tax in nature but more on people, performance and success in the accounting world. Popular topics and themes covered include:

☑ leadership, executive presence, trust, integrity & reputation
☑ M&A, business models, future proofing, drivers of change & disruption
☑ performance, values, culture, vision & strategy
☑ employer brand, gen z/millennials & talent - succession, recruitment and retention
☑ industry trends, statistics and patterns
☑ growth, marketing, differentiation & positioning
☑ pricing & profitability
☑ digitisation, cloud, technology & automation
☑ advisory services, niches & emerging markets
☑ environmental & social governance ESG
☑ diversity, equity & inclusion DEI
☑ professionalism, career development & CPE/CPD
☑ business acumen & commercial awareness

Sources and guests come from:
★ EXPERTS - influencers, disrupters, consultants, gurus, podcasters and broadcasters in accounting and fintech
★ EVENTS - live coverage and interviews from exhibitions, conferences and a range of industry events
★ MEDIA - newspapers, online outlets, commentators, writers, bloggers and authors
★ VENDORS - suppliers and providers of accounting apps, platforms, fintech and software
★ REGULATORS - professional accounting bodies, institutes and associations
★ NETWORKS - alliances, associations, networks and communities of professional firms and accounting practices
★ SOCIAL MEDIA - opinion pieces, high engagement posts and controversial conversations

Hosts Martin Bissett and Rob Brown are founders of the Accounting Influencers Broadcast Network. Martin is the founder of the Bissett Group of companies that provide practice and personal growth communities, content, and continuing education exclusively to the accounting and bookkeeping professions worldwide. Previously he established a high six-figure consulting firm while serving as a keynote speaker with over 100 one-off and repeat engagements to his name, as well as becoming the most published author on his topics of specialism with 11 books including 1 bestseller.

Since 1998, Martin has played a major part in working with over 1800 accounting firms in over 40 countries. These projects have led to those firms acquiring over £500m of recurring fees before inflationary increases, referrals and upselling are factored in. He stopped keeping track of this number over 5 years ago. Martin now advises a range of accounting practitioners and fintech companies at board level.

Rob Brown is a renowned presenter, facilitator and chair of high level conferences, panels and events globally for the accounting and fintech profession. He is retained by many professional networks, alliances, associations, practices and vendors to chair their events and provide high-level interview content for their communities.

He is a dynamic speaker and accomplished expert on trust, reputation, employer brand, talent, career development, succession, gen z/generations, executive presence, referrals, networking and winning new business. He is also the bestselling author of Build Your Reputation (Wiley) and his TEDx talk ‘The Personal Brand of You’ has been viewed 320K times on YouTube.
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About your hosts

Martin Bissett

Profile picture for Martin Bissett
Martin Bissett is the founder of the Bissett Group of companies that provide practice and personal growth communities, content, and continuing education exclusively to the accounting and bookkeeping professions worldwide.

Previously he established a high six-figure consulting firm while serving as a keynote speaker with over 100 one-off and repeat engagements to his name, as well as becoming the most published author on his topics of specialism with 11 books including 1 bestseller.

Since 1998, he has played a major part in working with over 1800 accounting firms in over 40 countries. These projects have led to those firms acquiring over £500m of recurring fees before inflationary increases, referrals and upselling are factored in. He stopped keeping track of this number over 5 years ago. Martin now advises both accounting practitioners and FinTech companies alike, at board level.

Rob Brown

Profile picture for Rob Brown
Rob Brown is a renowned MC, facilitator and chair of virtual and in-person panels, conferences and events globally for the accounting and fintech profession.

Rob is co-founder of the Accounting Influencers Roundtable (AIR) mastermind group and co-hosts the world’s most popular accounting and fintech podcast: Accounting Influencers.

Throughout the pandemic, he chaired 24 virtual panels with leaders of global accounting networks and alliances to discuss the key issues and challenges. Rob is retained by several associations and vendors to chair their events and provide high-level interview content for their communities.

He is the bestselling author of Build Your Reputation (Wiley) and his TEDx talk ‘The Personal Brand of You’ has been viewed 300K times on YouTube.